Biden to nominate Connecticut commissioner Cardona as Education secretary

Biden to nominate Connecticut commissioner Cardona as Education secretary
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President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenDobbs: Republicans lost in 2020 because they 'forgot who was the true leader' Should deficits matter any more? Biden's Cabinet gradually confirmed by Senate MORE is set to nominate Connecticut Education Commissioner Miguel CardonaMiguel CardonaTo the new administration: Declare détente in K-12 education wars Biden rolls out group of deputy secretary nominees Parenting and polling in education's new normal MORE to be his Education secretary, according to a person familiar with the decision.

The nomination is likely to be one of Biden's last before the Christmas holiday, and it continues the trend of the president-elect seeking to form a diverse Cabinet. Cardona, the first Latino education commissioner in Connecticut, has worked as an elementary school teacher, principal and assistant superintendent.

Tapping Cardona would leave five Cabinet posts without a nominee lined up, including attorney general.


Members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus wrote to Biden's transition team last week calling for Cardona as Education secretary. Cardona is the third Latino nominated for a Cabinet role, though the caucus has pushed Biden to nominate two Latinas to the Cabinet.

The caucus had previously endorsed ex-National Education Association president Lily Eskelen García for the role of Education secretary prior to backing Cardona.

“In these tough times, students, educators, and families face unprecedented challenges — from the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis to the systemic racism that has held back too many students for too long," current NEA president Becky Pringle said in a statement. "We look forward to partnering with Secretary-designate Miguel Cardona in taking on these challenges together."

If confirmed by the Senate, Cardona will face the task of achieving Biden's goal of resuming in-person classroom learning during the first 100 days of his presidency amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“If Congress provides the funding, we need to protect students, educators and staff. If states and cities put strong public health measures in place that we all follow, then my team will work to see that the majority of our schools can be open by the end of my first 100 days," Biden said earlier this month.


In-person learning during the pandemic has become a hot button issue, with a growing number of Americans calling on school districts to reopen classrooms.

The nation's top infectious diseases expert, Anthony FauciAnthony FauciOvernight Health Care: Biden takes steps to boost number of vaccine doses sent to states | CDC researchers find 'little evidence' of major school outbreaks, with precautions | Eli Lilly says antibody combo significantly cuts COVID-19 death risk Biden takes steps to boost number of vaccine doses sent to states World surpasses 100M coronavirus cases MORE, has said it is important for schools to reopen as safely as possible.

Updated at 2:01 p.m.